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Bookkeeper Maria Cabrini Weiss, whose latest thefts led to the closing of an 18-year-old Cheektowaga business on a tax debt, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling $50,000 while she worked there last year.

Mrs. Weiss, 43, of Ransom Road in Clarence, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of third-degree grand larceny and was allowed to remain free on a $25,000 appearance bond pending sentencing Jan. 28.

Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, who said Mrs. Weiss faces a prison term of two to four years, warned the defendant that if she doesn't show up for sentencing, she faces seven years behind bars.

Mrs. Weiss admitted to embezzling $50,000 from D&D Tire Sales and Service on Harlem Road while working there. Mrs. Weiss, who was jailed for 15 hours in June when she missed early court sessions in the case, did not explain what she did with the money.

She declined to comment as she left the courtroom.

The state shut down D&D last April because Mrs. Weiss embezzled money she was supposed to be sending to the state to pay sales-tax obligations.

Mrs. Weiss also spent four months in jail four years ago for embezzling $37,000 while working as a bookkeeper for the Marriott Corp.

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